Joyful Service

13 Jul

“Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.”  ~ Mahatma Gandhi

We have all been helped by people who did not want to be there.  Whether it was an irritable server at a restaurant or a clerk at a retail store or a family member fulfilling an obligation, we have felt the attitude of “I could care less” quite often when on the receiving end.

There have also been times when someone was serving us and we not only received their service but also felt a considerable amount of joy while on the receiving end.

We almost universally respond well to people who serve with joy.  We appreciate their effort, we let them know how grateful we are, and we can even imagine ourselves doing what they do.

I love watching children learn what joy there can be in serving others.  School children in lower grades often engage in community service.  They go to nursing homes to sing at Christmas time or to bring homemade greeting cards to the residents.  When they return and discuss the event in the classroom, there is a palpable excitement in their voice and a great desire to return — as soon as possible — so that they can do it again.

We are called to serve one another in their need.  We could do so grudgingly and, in the process, get absolutely nothing out of it even as we depress the people we served.  Or, we could put our whole being into the process of serving others and bring them great joy.  When we do so, we will reap the benefit of joy for ourselves as well and want to do it again.

Do you want energy?  Joy?  Fulfillment?  It is easy to find:  serve someone’s need.

FAITH ACTION:  Be joyful in your service to others today.  Let them know by your very attitude that you are helping them because you desire to do so and not because you are required to do so.